The importance of Southern Gas Corridor for energy diversification and its overall role in political transformation of the region was discussed during the annual conference of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) in Washington March 1-2.
During the event, USACC Honorary Advisor John Sununu praised cooperation with Azerbaijan, stressed the strategic importance to the US and prospects of moving the bilateral relations forward, said the message from the USACC.
Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov, for his part, outlined key issues that both countries face today and emphasized the importance of future strategic relations. Ambassador then read the congratulatory letter to USACC members from President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Deputy Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan Sahib Mammadov highlighted the importance of economic diversification away from oil and gas and noted that Azerbaijan is the largest trade partner of the US in the South Caucasus.
Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at US Department of State Mary Warlick called Azerbaijan a reliable partner and touched upon the third meeting of the Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), recently held in Baku.
She then highlighted the priority role of Azerbaijan in diversification of energy routes, bringing additional gas sources and volumes to Europe and progressing relations with Azerbaijan.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Holly Vineyard noted that the US is ready to support the modernization and diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy.
On Feb. 23, Baku hosted the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Third Ministerial Meeting.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.